Lately, if one visits many of the high traffic Democratic/progressive blogs, one can't help but be greeted by Hillary Clinton's face, with words along the lines of "Be part of the conversation from the start." Oh, that's rich. In *so* many ways.
She's using that conversation meme pretty consistently. Now, where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, Howard Dean said something about a "Great American Conversation" didn't he?
But, Hillary, what on earth do you mean, "from the start"? We've been *having* a conversation for several years now, and we've done a lot more than talk. We *knew* with every fiber of our beings that the U.S. invasion of Iraq was a *bad* idea. And we did everything we could to make our voices heard. But very few people have access to the kind of megaphone that would allow us to *really* be heard, so we were thrilled to find people like Howard Dean who were willing to carry *our* message to a larger audience. Want to know why some of us get so upset when people attack Howard Dean? Because he's often speaking for *us*--he's saying what *we* would say, if we had access to that kind of megaphone. So, when you diss Howard, you *are* dissing us. Please keep that in mind, and try not to act too surprised when we don't want to jump on your bandwagon after you've attacked our messenger.
Another reaction I have is that this whole "conversation" meme must be something that Hillary and her advisers decided would "sell" to bloggers. Sort of the way she came up with this:
In her statement, she also called for “bold but practical changes” in national policy, a four-word formulation that her advisers said was carefully chosen, given that she has sought to portray herself as both a pragmatist and someone who thinks big. Some Democrats dismiss the latter image, finding her too cautious. Yet her pledge of boldness reflects her well-known desire to disprove the notion that she is hesitant or calculating.So, I *do* have my eyes open here, Hillary. I don't believe you want to have a conversation. I believe that you're using those words because you think they are effective marketing tools.
And besides, how *can* we have anything resembling a real "conversation" when it is to take place on your turf, on your terms? I would *love* to have a real conversation, where we talk about who we are as America, at our best, and how to find our way back there--or at least get closer to that place. It would be wonderful to talk about another way of relating to other nations, rather than just accepting the "Bush doctrine" as status quo. But from you, today, I heard this:
Clinton said her view is that the nation is engaged in a deadly fight against terrorism, a battle that she contends Bush has botched.So, even though he "botched" things, you can't resist using the fear tactic that has been (apparently) so successful for Bush. And that's another thing that bugs me, by the way. For all the hoopla about you potentially being the first woman elected president, you are way too closely aligned with the patriarchy for my liking. And, for me at least, mindset and worldview are more important than whether a candidate has a matching set of X chromosomes or an X and a Y.
"I do think we are engaged in a war against heartless, ruthless enemies," she said. "If they could come after us again tomorrow they would do so."
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